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Historic preservation efforts honored in Westmoreland

Pittsburgh Post GazetteThursday, October 04, 2007
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A group dedicated to interpreting the history of an important local highway, two individuals involved in historic preservation and the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners were named recipients of the 2007 Arthur St. Clair Historic Preservation Awards.

Westmoreland County Historical Society presented the awards at the annual Arthur St. Clair Dinner at Greensburg Country Club yesterday.

Receiving the honors were the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, a group that created the 200-Mile Roadside Museum; local history buff Glenn Smeltzer; Dr. Robert C. Wilburn, a Westmoreland County native and chief executive officer of Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation; and County Commissioners Tom Balya, Tom Ceraso and Phil Light for their commitment to the planned History Education Center at Hanna’s Town.

The 200-Mile museum includes roadside exhibits in six counties. The exhibits encompass such things as vintage gas pumps painted by professional artists, as well as 21 interpretive exhibits throughout Westmoreland County that tell the story about the Lincoln Highway during the years between 1913 and World War II.

Glenn Smeltzer was a physics teacher in the Hempfield School District but after retirement, the history of Westmoreland County became his avocation. He became an expert on the 11th Pennsylvania Civil War Regiment and other county history. He teaches continuing education classes at Westmoreland County Community College and is a member of the Baltzer-Meyer Historical Society.

Dr. Wilburn is spearheading the effort to raise $100 million to build a new visitors center for the Gettysburg Battlefield. He is a former CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, former president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a member of the board of directors of Saint Vincent College.

The county commissioners were recognized because the board has supported the Hanna’s Town center from the beginning. The county provided seed money for the project and contributed to the capital campaign.

Thanks to the board, the county will provide regular maintenance, cleaning services, utility costs and insurance once the facility is built.

First published on October 4, 2007 at 6:14 am

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633